Reality Bites: Indianapolis Colts
Ever seen the show Fringe on Fox?
Of course you haven’t, you aren’t a super nerd. Luckily I am. In this show there exists an alternate reality where you are the same person yet different choices have been made. What could the Indianapolis Colts players and coaches maybe have done differently or better? Does Tom Moore speak? Is Ryan Leaf a Colt? Endless possibilities, endless explanations. This is my article, however, so for a moment let’s hypothesize that in Fringereality:
In 2004 – The record-breaking offense doesn’t freeze in the snow at Foxboro against the New England Videographers.
In 2005 –Mike Vanderjagt makes that game-tying field goal or Nick Harper doesn’t get stabbed.
In 2006 – I hadn’t ashed my cigar on my couch.
In 2007 – The Colts beat the heeeaaaavy underdog San Diego Chargers.
In 2008 – Gijon Robinson remembers the snap count and the Colts beat the underdog Chargers, again.
In 2009 – We go for perfection. Kendra Baskett knows how to catch. Tracy Porter doesn’t come back to haunt his home state.
In 2010 – We figure out how to keep players healthy and shut Rex Ryan up?
In 2011 - The Lockout happens and Kerry Collins and Curtis Painter only ever meet at a charity event for retired players in 2013.…
Damn you Fringereality…..Look at all these opportunities missed by this franchise. That seems to be the conundrum of being a Colts fan in the Manning Era. Granted, we have more success than any team besides the Steelers and Patriots but there also seems to be a void. A void that two or three more Super Bowls could have filled. One was great but a Colts fan can’t help but feel as though there should have been more. Perhaps, that’s what makes Manning going down so sudden hurt even more, because we’ve always had next year. It was just assumed that every year Peyton was behind center we would shuffle enough players around to get into the playoffs and then sheer Math would take over right? I count 10 years where the Colts have been legitimate contenders for the Super Bowl. My math also has us at a 10% success rate. Sports are tough and will always be a little bit of luck. So are the Colts cursed, soft, choke-artists or something completely different?
If you are reading this and aren’t a Colts fan, you are probably thinking, “how about you shut up” and a lot of “it could be worse” claims. It could…It could be the season that we are going through right now. Then I sat and thought, for all of our near misses at a Dynasty and frustration at being so close to true excellence, let’s celebrate what we have had:
- A Super Bowl Championship
- Peyton Manning and a slew of other Pro-Bowlers
- A chance to witness one of the greatest offensive seasons of all time (2004)
- A chance to watch playoff football for the last 10 seasons
- Sustained regular season excellence that may never be matched (say what you will about the value of winning regular season games vs. playoff games but I guarantee you the players care and if the players aren’t trying to win every single game they play, they wouldn’t be in the NFL)
- Lucas Oil Stadium
- Hosting a Super Bowl
I could go on but hopefully you get the point. Yes, we did lose the chance to have the first 16-0 season. We have had more disappointment in the playoffs than most and we are the worst team in the league right now. Honestly though, tell me that it has not been an absolute blast watching #18 orchestrate the offense or Freeney bring down an opposing QB when we need it most. Tell me it isn’t a sports fans dream to watch the Vince Lombardi Trophy being hoisted or walking in the cathedral of sports that is Lucas Oil Stadium. This season, we might not win a game. Next season we might not have Peyton Manning. That’s sports and that’s life. Part of life is also enjoying the ride and if this season is cosmic Fringereality payback, then I’ll take that trade. The Colts will be back. Jim Irsay will rebuild or we will have #18 leading us once more. The Indianapolis Colts don’t owe you or me anything this season but from here on out and beyond we owe them.
Remember that every time you take off your Colts jersey in disgust. Remember to Believe in Blue.